L. & I. J. White

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Loose Tenon vs. Traditional Tenon Joinery by Mark Singer


In reading John Piwaron question about "loose tenon" vs. normal tenon joinery I think there are times where each is the best choice.

In the attached photos of a recent Padauk sofa I made I used both methods.  The back support was way too large to run through the tenoning jig and while I could have cut the tenon with a tenon saw or router , it was more accurate to make 1 jig for 2 tenons and move it from the backrest to the sides (arms).

The legs and the stretchers I made in the traditional fashion where the tenon is an integral part of the stretcher. In both cases it resulted in tight clean joints of equal strength.  One photo shows the jigs used for loose tenon construction and a piece of tenon stock which I made on the router table to match the radius of the mortise (as Jim Becker stated).

In my visits to Sam Maloof's studio or my friend and master woodworker Randy Bader, their walls are cover with templates.  The templates allow them to quickly duplicate or modify previous designs.  They have refined these over the years to improve on already great work.

All of this falls well within the realm of fine woodworking.

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